Grave fears for man swept to sea off of Woolgoolga
A SEARCH and Rescue operation trying to find a Korean man who was swept out to sea from Woolgoolga Main Beach has been downgraded to a body recovery operation.
At 5:40pm on Saturday a Korean man is believed to have been pulled out of the water by a bodyboarder at Woolgoolga main beach.
Local lifeguard Les Pepper was alerted to the scene and while administering first aid was informed that the man's friend was still in the water.
The Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving Club deployed two rubber inflatable boats to search for the man and the Westpac rescue Helicopter was also called from Lismore. However the search had to be called off at sunset.
The search began again at sunrise on Sunday but by midday Marine Rescue and police took over, there is as yet no sign of the man and the operation has been downgraded to body recovery.
"This unfolding tragedy is a sad reminder that people can quickly get into trouble swimming outside patrol hours or at unpatrolled locations," said Surf Life Saving NSW Manager Dean Storey.
"Tourists in particular are at risk as they're often not aware of the dangers of the surf and are unable to identify and avoid things like rip currents,
"Last week a group of four Koreans who got stuck in a rip at the same beach were extremely lucky a young off duty surf lifesaver was at the beach and managed to bring them all back to shore.
"We've just launched a partnership with the North Coast tourism network to try to get simple surf safety messages out to domestic and international visitors right along the north coast over summer."
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